Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but as a cold morning turned to a beautiful warm afternoon, the No. 5 K-State Equestrian team still got the revenge they wanted against the No. 4 Oklahoma State squad that beat them in both the Big 12 Championship and the Western National Finals last season.
“We had a little fire in our bellies because they took a title we really wanted last year,” junior captain Madison Wayda said. “It feels really good to beat them and get a little revenge on them.”
The Hunter Seat squad gave the team a huge lead, winning Equitation Over Fences 4-1, backed by senior captain Rachel Webster’s Most Outstanding Player award in the event. Webster scored an event-high 90 points, winning her head-to-head matchup against Oklahoma State’s Sammy Elser by 15 points. Wayda and freshmen Alexis Graves and Henley Adkins scored points as well in the event.
In Equitation on the Flat, the Wildcats won 3-2, while Wayda was awarded an MOP for her 81-63 win over Samantha Harrison. Senior Cat Avolese and Adkins also scored for K-State to give the Hunter Seat squad a 7-3 win over their Oklahoma State counterparts.
“I have to give props to our Hunt Seat squad for getting us ahead,” head coach Casie Maxwell said. “Our Hunt Seat team was outstanding, they were absolutely outstanding. They were well coached, well prepared, their horses were outstanding, I have to give them props.”
As nice as the big lead was, the team sure needed it as the Western team lost 6-4. Yet the team managed to hang on at the end and capture the win.
The Horsemanship team suffered the same fate that the Cowboys’ Equitation Over Fences squad faced, falling 4-1. Senior Amelia Crites scored the team’s lone point in the last ride of the event, taking a 72.5-71 point victory.
After Horsemanship, K-State had a slim 8-7 lead heading into Reigning, the final event, making tensions high at Timbercreek Stables.
Oklahoma State took the first two points in Reigning, gaining a temporary 9-7 lead and threatening a comeback over the Wildcats. However, K-State took the last three points in the event to seal the win over their conference rival.
Senior Emily Stockford took the first of the three points in a close 69-68 win over Oklahoma State’s Katy Krshka, the Most Outstanding Player in Horsemanship. Stockford, took home the Most Outstanding Player award for this event though, and started off a hot streak for the Wildcats. Sophomore Kara Guy then took a 69-67.5 win over OSU Mackenzie Fugitt, while senior captain Jordan Cox’s score of 67 was enough to hold off Cowboy’s Jenna Blumer’s 64.5 to secure the 11-9 win and avoid a tie.
The win was a big one for K-State, and not just for revenge purposes. The squad fell 15-5 to No. 3 South Carolina in the season opener and did not want to drop another match to a top-five team. Next week will see another huge test, as No. 6 Texas A&M; comes to Manhattan in another big showdown for the Wildcats.